Skip to Content

Get FREE Christmas Gifts and Food in Ohio!

Get FREE Christmas Gifts and Food in Ohio!

We’ve found free Christmas help in Ohio! From large nationwide charities to small local assistance programs, we have found a variety of ways that you may be able to get free Christmas gifts, free Christmas meals and so much more.

Advertisements

Free Christmas Help in Ohio

Welcome the holiday spirit with free holiday assistance in Ohio. Big national charities in our state are ready to help. They provide gifts for kids, festive meals, and sometimes even holiday decorations to those in need. These groups do their best to make sure everyone can enjoy the joy of the season.

Lutheran Social Services

One of the most powerful low income assistance providers in Ohio is Lutheran Social Services. They have offices all over Ohio that provide valuable services to the community, including free groceries through their network of food pantries.

It is not clear if Lutheran Social Services provides free Christmas help, but they may be able to provide you with groceries to help with your holiday meal. They may also be able to connect you with other services in the area that can help with your Christmas celebration.

NEOPAT

NEOPAT provides financial assistance and support to military families who reside in a 20-county area in Northeast Ohio. This organization also provides free Christmas help through their annual Adopt-a-Family program.

Advertisements

WHO IS ELIGIBLE: You must have a military service member or a drilling reservist in your household to qualify. You also must live in one of 20 counties in Northeast Ohio, including:

  • Ashland
  • Ashtabula
  • Columbiana
  • Cuyahoga
  • Erie
  • Geauga
  • Holmes
  • Huron
  • Lake
  • Lorain
  • Trumbull
  • Mahoning
  • Medina
  • Ottowa
  • Portage
  • Richland
  • Sandusky
  • Stark
  • Summit
  • Wayne

HOW TO APPLY: You need to go to neopat.org and click the “Get Assistance” button in the menu at the top of the page. Scroll to the bottom of the page and click the “Request Assistance” button.

Salvation Army

The Salvation Army Angel Tree program families who might not have much for the holidays. This is one of the most well-recognized programs that offer free Christmas gifts in Ohio.

Here’s how it works: Trees are set up in malls, churches, and businesses, and they’re decorated with paper tags. Each tag has some basic information about a child or senior who needs a gift. The information includes an age and gift requests. Shoppers pick a tag, buy a present for that person, and return it to the donation box. This simple act of kindness makes sure everyone has a very merry Christmas.

WHO IS ELIGIBLE: Low income children and seniors may be eligible for the Angel Tree. You need to contact your local Salvation Army chapter to find out what the requirements are in your area.

HOW TO APPLY: You can usually apply online using the Salvation Army Angel Tree website. Some areas do not accept those applications and require you to apply in other ways. If your area does not process applications there, then find your local Salvation Army chapter by using their website’s Location Tool.

Toys for Tots

If you’re looking for a little extra help this Christmas, the Toys for Tots program might be just what you need. Run by the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve, this program collects new, unwrapped toys and distributes them as Christmas gifts to children who might not otherwise receive any. It’s a wonderful way to ensure your kids experience the joy and excitement of the holiday season.

Advertisements

Participating in Toys for Tots is straightforward. Each year, they set up donation boxes in various locations, and people donate toys. Then, these toys are sorted and given out to families in need.

This program is available in most areas of Ohio. It appears that there are only 23 Ohio counties that do not offer Toys for Tots.

WHO IS ELIGIBLE: Typically, this program serves children who are age 12 and under but the limits might be different depending on where you live.

HOW TO APPLY: To receive help from Toys for Tots, you can visit their website and click the big red Request a Toy button at the top. Just follow the prompts to select your state, county, and fill out the application.

More Christmas Help

There are even more ways to get free Christmas help in Ohio from large nationwide charities! Please check out our Nationwide Christmas Directory for more agencies that may be able to help you. We’ve found resources that can help with free holiday trees and so much more, so don’t forget to check that out!

Local Christmas Help in Ohio

There may be churches, charities and other organizations in your local community that can also provide free Christmas gifts and food in Ohio! Different counties have different resources that are offered by private organizations and public assistance programs. We’ve listed every resource we’ve found in the state below, so scroll to find your county subheading to find the resources near you.

Advertisements

Adams County

Canal Winchester Human Services in Winchester offers an Adopt-A-Family program for low-income residents living in the Winchester or Bloom Carroll School District. This program provides families in need with Christmas gifts, clothing, a pair of shoes, winter coats, food baskets, and toys by pairing them with community members willing to buy the items.

Ashtabula County

Ashtabula Dream Center offers a food pantry for low income people who need it. It is not clear if they have a specific holiday program, but they may be able to provide some staples to help make your holiday a little brighter.

Columbus Metro Area

Broad Street Presbyterian Church in Columbus provides food for their neighbors who are impacted by hunger. It is not clear if this organization provides Christmas and Thanksgiving boxes.

Fire Fighters For Kids in Columbus provides free Christmas help to children who are under 13 years old. In order to get help, you need to register at a participating agency in the community.

Heart to Heart is a ministry of First Community North in Columbus. This food bank offers a holiday assistance program for 120 families each year. Starting in 2023, this program provides gift cards to major retailers in the area so that families can purchase their own holiday gifts for their children. If you are interested in applying, you need to follow these instructions.

Nnemap Food Pantry in Columbus can provide weekly food boxes to low income individuals and families in the area.

Stowe Mission in Columbus hosts an annual Christmas Toy Drive for low income families who live in the 43206, 43207 and 43229 zip codes. They only provide toys to children who are toddlers to 12 years old. Registration occurs in mid-November and the distribution takes place in early December.

United Methodist Church and Community Development For All People in Columbus hosts an annual Christmas Shop for low income people in the area. This program allows families to pick out brand new toys, bicycles, clothing and coats for their children (ages 0-12) each year. They serve around 500 families. You must register in-person in early December. Here’s the address.

Cuyahoga County

All Faith’s Pantry in Parma offers free bags of groceries to low-income, working poor, seniors, veterans, and the homeless living in Cuyahoga County. The pantry may have holiday-centric meals available during the holiday season.

Christians In Action in Olmsted Falls provides free Christmas gifts for low income people who live in their area. They serve seniors, people with disabilities, unemployed people, and families with children. You’ll need to contact their organization for application instructions.

Community Ambassadors in Parma runs a holiday Adopt-a-Family program that provides free Christmas help to families who need it. They rely on community partners, like local schools and other nonprofits, to help screen and coordinate this program. If you need help, I suggest reaching out to your local school counselor or social worker for a referral to this program.

Middleburg Heights Food Pantry provides free food to people who live in Middleburg Heights or who attend church in Middleburg Heights. They allow you to choose the food that you want to take from their shelves. It is not clear if they have any sort of holiday assistance program but it’s a good place to get free food to use for your holiday meal.

St. Richard Parish in North Olmsted hosts several different Christmas assistance programs. Their Adopt-a-Family program serves low income children who attend Metro Catholic High School. They also have a Giving Tree that serves seniors in local health systems.

Delaware County

Big Walnut Friends Who Share in Sunbury is an organization that provides clothing, food, household furnishings and more to those who need them. This service is available year-round and is not limited to the holiday season. 

People in Need of Delaware County is a community organization that offers gifts and food to children and seniors who live in their service area. Among other things, they may be able to provide the following assistance:

  • New winter coats
  • New toys, games or books
  • Gift certificates or gift cards
  • Christmas meal boxes
  • Other gifts

Because this program is so popular, they require you to register in early October in order to get help.

First Presbyterian Church in Delaware provides a free hot Christmas dinner to anyone who wants to stop by. They welcome those who are experiencing financial hardship, as well as those who are lonely or don’t get out much. You can enjoy your Christmas meal in a nice dining room setting with lovely decorations and piano music

Franklin County

Fire Fighters 4 Kids collect toy donations for low-income families living in Franklin County. Toys get distributed to children aged newborn to 12 years old, one week before Christmas.

Franklin County Children Services hosts an annual Holiday Wish program that provides free gifts to children who are served by this agency. Some of the gifts include dolls, sports equipment, jewelry making sets, LEGOs, toy cars, action figures and more. However, your child must already be receiving services from this agency to qualify.

Hilliard Food Pantry may provide help for low-income families with food and other necessities when they’re available. They might have special holiday boxes available during the holiday season.

Rock City Church holds their annual Christmas Shoe Give every holiday season. The shoes they gather are given to local schools. Contact your school social worker to find out if they participate in this program and what you need to do to get help.

Logan County

Second Harvest Food Bank in Springfield may be able to provide holiday food support. If you need help with your Christmas meal, this is a great place to go for help. They sometimes post holiday promotional events on their social media pages as well.  

Summit County

Barberton Area Community Ministries operates a food pantry that may be able to provide help with your holiday meal. They also offer home delivery for seniors and even pet food when donations allow!

Baskets of Love in Akron is a service provided by Akron Bible Church. They provide free groceries and staples to low income people who need extra help. When donations allow, gifts may also be included for children.

Share-a-Christmas provides free Christmas gifts and food to people who live in Copley or Fairlawn. You need to apply in mid-November in order to receive assistance. You can find the application on the Share-a-Christmas website.

First Faith Development Corporation in Akron hosts an annual Christmas program. They also have a food bank and a clothing room that provides free clothes, shoes and personal items to people in the community.

Wood County

Dear Santa Society in Bowling Green is a great place to go if you want to apply for free Christmas gifts in your area. To get help, you need to send an email to them with an outline of your situation, information about your household and more. You can find the contact information on their website.

Relief Recap

Looking for free Christmas help in Ohio? You’re in the right place! Ohio offers a variety of free Christmas assistance programs through large nationwide charities and local assistance programs that offer free gifts, food and more during the holiday season. For detailed information on specific programs and how to apply, refer to the providers in our list. If you need more options or personalized assistance, simply call 211 for additional help. They’re ready to guide you to the perfect holiday support for your family.

Diane. Lewis

Friday 1st of December 2023

I got hurt on my job and i can't afford gifts for my kids. This doesn't happen I'm a hard working mother and I'm in need of food and a Xmas for my kids. Please if u can help us. Thank you so much!

Catherine Marucci

Friday 1st of December 2023

Hi Diane. If the resources above are not helpful in your area, it may be worth calling 211 to see if there is anything else they know about.

Catherine Marucci

Friday 10th of November 2023

Hi. We'll look into it, but it might be worth calling 211 to see if they know of anything in your area.

Catherine Marucci

Friday 10th of November 2023

Hi. We'll look into it, but it might be worth calling 211 to see if they know of anything in your area.

Tori Traxler

Sunday 11th of December 2022

Hi my name is tori. I am a single mother of to amazing boys. Unfortunately I've been in an out of work due to covid disaster, I currently started working at valero in wellston, but am in need of desperate help this season. I currently moved an lost everything, the break lines an spark plugs went out on my vehicle. I am trying my hardest but there's only so much I can do with bills an other family expenses. I have a 4 yr old named atlas he loves superheroes, cars an Legos wears 6/7 boys size 13 in shoes. My oldest son is 14 an likes Xbox one, wolves, an anything that he can sit an build he is autistic 2x size 11shoes . I am in need of gifts, tree, dinner, decorations anything at this point would be tremendously appreciated. Thank you for your time an for helping families in need during hard times.

Catherine Marucci

Sunday 11th of December 2022

Hi Tori. That's a lot to go through! If you have already tried the resources above, it may be worth calling 211 to see if there is anything else they can suggest in your area. Hang in there!

Catherine Marucci

Tuesday 1st of November 2022

Hi Taylor. It may be worth calling 211 to see if they know of anything in your local area.